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Online dating, writing a first message

First Message Faux Pas

After recently flirting with the world of online dating and gaining some experience of what it’s all about, I have observed similar patterns occurring in the way men approach women with that all-important first message. I thought it was supposed to be a question of first impressions and making them count. So why is it we get messages that make our jaws drop to the floor, as we scroll for the ‘Block’ button? Perhaps it’s to get a reaction. Maybe they are trying their luck. Or could it be something even worse… could they be serious?


As a man ask yourself this, how would you want to be approached? Which would you most like to see in your inbox; a long, drawn out message with a hint of fatal attraction, offers of marriage or an offer of sex perhaps? For those looking for a serious connection the answer is none of the above (there is obviously a percentage of men who would definitely like the latter and we’ve got your number straight away).


Thinking about how we would like to be approached, do we really expect to be swept off our feet in front of a computer? Probably not, but if you’re going to take up our time at least have the decency to approach us with respect, kindness and write something with substance that is actually worth a response.


The basic ‘Hi’/’Hello’/’Hiya’ is so incredibly boring that we’ve already hit delete and not even bothered to venture further past the selfie you took with your iPhone, with half of your face covered but your body still on show. Stop being so boring and self-absorbed, your tan and eight pack is so 80’s we don’t need to see it…Next!


Here is some really important advice: try reading our profiles! This shows you haven’t been so shallow as to toggle through photographs and message every woman instantly without taking time to know anything about us first. If you find some similarities, converse with us using them. It’s an obvious sign that you simply like the look of someone but you have no common interests at all when all you have to go in with is “Hi”. So what else are you going to say? Perhaps a compliment.


Which leads us nicely in to my next important point: compliments. The only ones which really can be given, are those of our pictures. They are often mainly based on how we look physically so tread lightly to make sure you come across well. The words ‘sexy’, ‘body’, ‘curvy’, ‘tits’, ‘arse’, etc. sound too forward and sexual. Be more gentle. Something like “You are beautiful” or “Your eyes are amazing” will come across as a slightly softer, more considered, non-sexual approach. As you have no idea who we are or what we are like, try complimenting something from our profile, e.g. “I love how much you’ve travelled, where is your favourite place?” If you don’t engage with our profiles at all it shows you haven’t really put much thought into the message and this makes us question the depth of your interest.


Reading “I’d walk you down the aisle”, “I bet you don’t go for men like me” and “I’d smash your back doors in” screams out at us about someone who has issues – that is, insecurity and sexual frustration. Nonsense statements, pointless subjects or offers of explicit pictures are such a turn off and should be avoided entirely, let alone in the first message. Seriously how hard is it to write “Hi Emily, your profile really stood out to me, we share similar interests and I’d love to talk with you. I think you are beautiful and would love to get to know you more”. I’d be happy with that, wouldn’t you? It’s effortless, thoughtful and shows you think how we look is ‘beautiful’ (and believe me, this always works better than gorgeous, stunning or fit).


Dating websites vary and as such, each has a different calibre of people they attract. The reputation of the site can speak volumes, however I think it’s up to the individual person as to preference. If we compare Netto to Waitrose though, who wins? The bargain basement site is where you can discover the “non-members”, the time wasters, pen pals types, the sex offers and the blank profile descriptions. By joining an elite site you will find that it offers something more, a chance of actually finding real love and not endless first messages that offer you nothing more than a question as to how your day was or a suggestion to view this random guy’s pictures of his “large” penis.

This blog was written by TBW member Karen

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